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Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams dies

Williams made her final public appearance at Monday’s memorial service in Anfield, marking the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster.

Williams made her final public appearance at Monday's memorial service.
Williams made her final public appearance at Monday's memorial service.
Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 10.55

ANNE WILLIAMS, ONE of the most prominent campaigners in the Hillsborough fight for justice, has died.

Williams, who lost her son Kevin in the 1989 stadium disaster which killed 96 Liverpool fans, had been battling bowel cancer.

Despite her failing health, she made a final public appearance on Monday at a memorial service held at Anfield to mark the 24th anniversary of the tragedy.

“It was an act so typical of a mum who simply refused to accept defeat,” Liverpool said as the club paid tribute to “a true inspiration” this morning.

Kevin Williams was 15 years old when he was killed in the crush at Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989.

Despite the findings of the original inquest which ruled that all victims had died before 3.15pm that day, Anne Williams found witnesses who believed that her son was still conscious almost 45 minutes later.

She took her case to Britain’s Attorney General and to the European Court of Human Rights and continued her fight until last autumn when an independent panel found that 41 of the dead had the potential to survive beyond the coroner’s cut-off point. A fresh inquest is due to open later this month after the High Court quashed the original verdict in December.

“Anne may not have survived to see ultimate justice for her son but her actions have played a significant part in ensuring that 96 families have moved closer to Hillsborough closure,” Liverpool said today.

Steve Rotheram, the Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, was among those to pay tribute.

“Anne’s relentless pursuit of justice for her son personified the unyielding bond of a mother’s love for her child,” he wrote. “She was an inspiration to thousands of women across Merseyside and Britain.

“Despite her cruelly timed death today, Anne’s story, like that of so many other families, continues to give me the resolve to fight for the 96 every single day that I am in parliament.

“In a week that saw the funeral of a woman described as the ‘Iron Lady’, Liverpool will mourn the loss of a real woman of steely determination.”

Williams, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October, was cared for by family during her illness. She is survived by her son Michael, daughter Sara and three grandchildren.

A city united: Hillsborough victims remembered at Anfield anniversary service

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Niall Kelly

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